What Habits Put The Brakes On Your Happiness?

Have you ever been somewhere that you know is really, really good like on vacation or at a party, only to be frustrated that you couldn’t enjoy it because you were so focused on worrying about something?

I sure have!  Fretting about whether I had locked my car doors frequently distracted me at times when I wanted to be having fun.  Or I should say that I LET the profoundly uninteresting experience of worrying about whether or not I had locked my car doors spoil many potentially amazing experiences for me.  (I did this even before I owned a car.  I would worry about whether or not my parents had locked their car doors. Kind of pathetic!)

In thinking about whether or NOT my car doors were locked, I was trying to prevent the possible very hypothetical idea of someone taking stuff from my car or stealing it.   All the while, I was actually inflicting DEFINITE pain and distraction on myself in the present moment.  (From a common sense standpoint, this approach to life didn’t have much common sense.)

Not only was I inflicting pain and distraction on myself in the moment, I was missing the good stuff AND being a drag on others as they were trying to enjoy the moment.  (In fact, I was being a royal party-pooper!)

Now is locking your car doors a good idea?  Yes!  It’s an idea that now with automatic door locks takes a second of attention to implement.

But by walking away from the car and beginning to worry about whether or not I had locked the car doors, I was turning a good idea into A HABIT THAT PUT BRAKES ON MY HAPPINESS.  

My old Did-I-Lock-The-Car-Doors-Worry is what I like to call a REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT.  A REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT is a habit that keeps us focused in the opposite direction of our happiness.

The great news is that when we realize the direction that our REVERSE HAPPINESS HABITS are leading us, we can begin to take steps to focus on going in a new direction.

For example, with my car “Did-I-Lock-The-Car-Doors” REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT (Wow that is a mouth full!), I finally made the rule for myself that I would pay close attention for the seconds when I was locking the doors.  Then when I walked away from the car, I would focus on what I was doing and where I was going, instead of repeatedly badgering myself about whether or not I locked my car doors.  This easy solution took a great deal of discipline to follow when I first implemented it.  But now I lock my cars doors with confidence and move on in the direction of my happiness.  This simple solution makes a world of difference in the quality of my life.

Game of the Day

Do you find that you have a REVERSE HAPPINESS HABIT?

When do you notice it?

How does it distract you when you want to be having fun?

Is there a truth that it’s trying to tell you?   (The truth in my example was, “It’s good to spend a few seconds to focus on locking your car doors.”)

How can you give this truth a little focus and then move back to focusing on having a great time?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com

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Friday One Minute of Excitement

What Do You Love About Your Past That Can Be Brought Into Your Present?

Click on the link to watch the video for a one-minute inspirational blast!

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

Happiness Now Leads To Happiness in the Future

Have your ever thought, “If I can JUST get through this, THEN I will be HAPPY?

I sure have!  Many times throughout my life, I have gritted my teeth and endured whatever I happened to be doing in hopes of future happiness.  (In fact, I now where a bite-guard because I used to grit my teeth so much.  True story!)

What I’ve found through a colossal amount of teeth gritting is that gritting your teeth leads naturally to more gritting your teeth because it’s often easier to keep doing the same thing than to change what you’re doing.

Luckily for our teeth, the opposite is also true – Smiling leads naturally to more smiling.

As a writer, I feel the above sentence sounds simple and catchy, but I also realize that I need to offer an example if it’s going to be of much use to any of us (myself included).

Something as ordinary as buying groceries can be an emotional experience of either teeth gritting or smiling.  By emotional experience, I don’t necessarily mean tears and drama, but I think that how we choose to use our emotions in the grocery checkout line will affect our emotional experience and the emotional experience of those around us.

Check it out! (And pardon the pun!) A smiling person could go through the grocery checkout line, ask the clerk “What’s amazing about your day?” and have a wonderful short talk.

On the other hand, a person who happens to be in a teeth gritting mood could say teeth gritting things to the clerk like “Your groceries are way too expensive!  How do you expect your customers to live?  Shame on you for working here.”  This person might say these things in hopes of the future happiness of easing their stress about grocery shopping and maybe even getting the grocery store to lower their prices.

Both the smiling and gritting customers will be able purchase their groceries, but the feelings around getting their groceries and eating the food they bought will probably be completely different, not to mention the feelings of the clerk.  It’s very likely that the experience the customers have next time they go in the store will be completely different.  Which customer will the staff in the store be more happy to see?

In addition, it’s unlikely that the teeth gritting customer’s comments will do anything to lower his stress about shopping or get the store to lower its prices.

If just going through the grocery checkout line can be an emotional experience of smiling or teeth gritting (or somewhere in between), think about the power of the emotions we consistently feel as we go about achieving our goals and dreams.

Game of the Day

When do you notice you smile as you pursue your goals and dreams?

When do you notice you grit your teeth as you pursue your goals and dreams?

What’s your next step?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

Happiness Now Creates Ever After

Kids love their first bike with training wheels.

Then, in time, youngsters grow to the height and skill level where they love riding ten-speeds.

But if as kids they had strongly disliked their first bike would there be much of a guarantee that they would one-day love riding a far bigger bike?

So deepen your love for your present circumstances whatever they may be.

Envision a line of happy circumstances extending into your future.

Start right now.

Claim your present circumstances and love them unconditionally.

Achieving your dreams won’t make you happy.

It’s up to you to make the dreams you achieve happy.

Today is today.

Make it happy.

You can create your hours and days as happy.

You are the Happy Hours of your life.

Game of the Day

How can you be happy in this moment?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Living Daily Lives as Big as Our Dreams

Today, we can expand our lives as big as our dreams.  One of the first ways we do this is to become content with our present lives.  You might say, “But Jason, I want my dreams, not what I’m doing presently, so why are you suggesting that I become content with the present?”  (I can relate, on some days this idea seems like a very counterintuitive suggestion to me, too.)

But let me illustrate how being content with the present is indeed very important to realizing our dreams.  Say we are camping in the middle of nowhere and run out of food before our fifteen-mile hike back to the tiny town where our car is parked.  There is only one restaurant in town, which is called “Bob’s Pretty Tasty Greasy Food and Stuff”. There are only a few things on Bob’s menu, none of which we would ordinarily choose.

Still, we’re almost definitely going to order one of the menu items and not hold out for, say, sushi or grape leaves.  After the incredibly long hike, we compromise without hesitation because we are STARVING.  We will eat practically anything, even if it is Bob’s Wednesday night special, which happens to be “Random Fried Stuff”.

In the same way, if we are STARVING for fulfillment, we will often compromise for much less than our dreams.  So, it’s important to cultivate the awareness of being sated with our present lives because then we’re in a place to really choose to go after our dreams, and not base our decisions on feeling STARVED for instant change.

When we are sated, if our dream isn’t on one menu, we’re willing to travel until we find it or, if need be, learn how to create our dream from scratch.

In our dreams, we often see a change in our circumstances and life situation.  We also see happiness.  It may take time to alter our circumstances and life situation to fit our dreams, but we can live the happiness part of our dreams, right now, today.

When we live this happiness, we begin today to expand our lives as big as our dreams.

Game of the Day

What can you do to become sated with your present circumstances?

How can you live the happiness of your dreams today?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.

Gracious, I’m Glad It’s Today!

Have you ever found yourself on Tuesday saying, “Wow, I wish it were Friday?”

Me too!

We should be careful, that’s a couple of days we are wishing away!

Or if you have a vacation coming up in a month, have you ever noticed yourself saying, “Gee, I wish I was already on vacation?”

And this could be a whole month that you are wishing to get past.

This is a great deal of life simply wished away.

And why are we doing all of this wishing?   Probably, we are predicting that our weekend or our vacation will be more joyful and fun than where we are and what we are doing right now.

I’ve found that having fun in any circumstance, whether one is at work, off for the weekend, or on vacation, is an act of creation, which requires focus on enjoying where we are and noticing opportunities to feel joy and have fun.

So even today, even if you are at work, try asking yourself, “How can I find joy and fun WITHIN this circumstance?”  Then focus on your answers.  This is your FUN FOCUS.

I realize as I write the last paragraph that it may sound overly simple.  I found that creating and maintaining a FUN FOCUS is simple, but not always easy.   I’ve observed that it’s very natural to long to be somewhere other than where we are.

But isn’t it exciting to think of how much more life we have available for our enjoyment if we cultivate the skills to focus on the joy and fun of today, even if today isn’t a Saturday or a holiday in Tahiti?

Let’s do our best to put today in FUN FOCUS.  Because who really wants to wait for the weekend or a vacation to have fun?

Game of the Day

How can you put today in FUN FOCUS?

Today We’ve Arrived And Are Going Further

Today we have arrived.  Think of how many years, months and days you are old.  It took you that long to arrive at today.  This is cause for celebration!

However, if you are anything like me, on many occasions you have said things like, “My life will be happy when…” or “I will feel settled when….”

As small kid, I thought my life would be pure bliss the moment I got to decide for myself when to go to bed.  In childhood, I journeyed towards this goal.  Years ago, I arrived at the time in my life when I choose my bedtime for myself.  Now I take this freedom totally for granted as I yearn towards other goals.

While our goals give us direction and purpose, our daily lives give us countless opportunities for happiness.  There is the moment of crossing the finish line of our goal compared to the countless moments of our daily lives.

The moment we say we will be happy only when we achieve our goals, we limit our ability to feel happiness.  Too often, I find that we wait for an abstract future to be happy instead of exercising our ability to be happy right now.

Sometimes when we look towards our goals, we can even become deflated and downright unhappy because we feel that we have so far to go to achieve our goals.

One of my goals is to speak at conventions and schools across the country and around the world.  At this time, I have just given presentations in four states.  So, I have a choice. I can either create happiness only at the moment I reach my goal or I can create happiness on the moments leading up to the goal.  You better believe I’ll be happy the moment I reach my goal too!

Especially through my teenage and college years when I frequently needed the reminder, my Mom emphasized the importance of balance in all areas of life.  I think balance might be the key in this discussion. We have the opportunity to strike a balance between celebrating having arrived each day and attending to the steps needed to pursue our further goals.

Remember that today is a special day.  It has taken us years to arrive here.

Game of the Day

How can you savor the excitement of having arrived at this day in your life and at the same time continue to take steps to reach towards your goals?